Absolut vodka producer to stop exports to Russia due to criticism
Amid criticism following reports of resumption of supplies, Swedish vodka maker Absolut and French concern Pernod Ricard, which acquired it in 2008, have decided to stop exporting their products to Russia, according to a statement of The Absolut Company CEO, Stéphanie Durroux.
The enterprise notes that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, the group's activities in Russia have been significantly reduced, and marketing investments have been stopped.
"By ensuring the economic viability of its distribution subsidiary through limited supply, Pernod Ricard has been able to protect its local team from any local criminal liability, relating to ‘intentional bankruptcy’ in particular,'" the chief executive said.
A week ago, Pernod Ricard announced that they were restarting to export alcohol to Russia after a one-year break.
"However, the reaction over the recent days is clearly reflective of the role Absolut plays for its extended community in Sweden. We acknowledge the significance of these long-standing and trusting relationships with our Swedish employees, partners, consumers, and the Swedish society at large. Acknowledging also the duty of care towards our employees and partners, we cannot expose them to massive criticism in all forms. Therefore, The Absolut Company has decided to stop the export of its brand to Russia," the company said today.
The company stresses that their products can reach the Russian Federation through a parallel market, "which has grown significantly in recent months and which they do not control."
Pernod Ricard (brands Chivas Regal, Jameson, Absolut, Ararat) was among the three producers of alcohol brands that did not announce that they were completely exiting Russia. The other two are Bacardi (Martini, Dewar's, William Lawson's) and Campari.
At the same time, Diageo (Bell's, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Baileys), Beam Suntory (Jim Beam) and Edrington (Macallan), Brown Forman (Jack Daniel's, Finlandia) and other companies announced the closure of business in Russia.
The French concern is considered the second largest world producer of alcohol products after the British Diageo. In 2008, Pernod Ricard acquired the producer of Absolut vodka — the Swedish Vin & Spirit Group. The group also owns the Yerevan Cognac Plant, which produces the Armenian brandy Ararat, and the Georgian wine and spirits company GWS, which produces alcohol under the brands Tamada and Old Tbilisi.